Brookland Valley Estate – New Release – February 2018
Barry Weinman: 25th February 2018
Brookland Valley Estate is part of the vast Accolade wine group, which includes labels such as Houghton, Arras and Hardy’s in Australia. Whilst many of the winemaking facilities are shared across the group, individual winemakers assume responsibilities for various brands. In the case of Brookland Valley, Courtney Treacher has responsibility for winemaking at the group’s Nannup winery.
The advantage of being part of such a large group is the ability to access high quality fruit from across the region. This means that Brookland Valley has access to some of the best fruit in WA for both their Chardonnays and Cabernets. This is helped by the fact that Houghton’s Jack Mann and Gladstones are single vineyard wines, so are not able to use fruit from other vineyards.
The high quality fruit, combined with slick winemaking has resulted in some very fine wines. The Chardonnays are aged in French oak for 9 months and undergo wild yeast and malo-lactic fermentation.
Here is a preview of the wines that are about soon to be released by the winery. As this was not a blind tasting (I tasted the wines with the winemaker), no points have been awarded. Needless to say, all wines reviewed are of very high quality.
Brookland Valley – Chardonnay – Estate – 2017. Restrained, taut and fine, the white peach characters are a highlight. The palate is textured, with supple oak, superb mouth-feel and excellent balance. Very long and fine, this is approachable now, but will develop depth with time in bottle as the wine builds in the glass. 2017 was a cool year, which is reflected in the fine acid balance (40% new oak).
Brookland Valley – Chardonnay – Reserve – 2015. Greater depth and power, with stone fruit, minerals, struck match and malo/lees notes. A powerful, textural wine that manages to show restraint and excellent balance. Superb drinking! From a classic Chardonnay vintage, the fruit comes exclusively from the Brookland vineyard (50% new French oak).
Brookland Valley – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – Estate – 2015. Lighter, brick red colour. The nose is redolent of cigar box, mint, eucalypt and berry (almost cherry) fruit. On the palate, there is fine acid and tannin, with the oak adding depth. Serious, structured, textural and firm, this needs several years to evolve. From a cooler year, the fruit is hand-picked, open fermented and aged in French oak (30% new).
Brookland Valley – Cabernet Sauvignon – Reserve – 2013: More obvious blueberry fruit, with mint and eucalypt highlights. The power and density of the fruit is palpable and the palate is textured and finely structured. Brilliant wine!